When Eugene Rose’s son Aaron was born with a developmental disability, he turned to the Warren County Board of Development Disabilities for help. When the board needed help passing a levy, they turned to Eugene.
Eugene began working with the board in 2002 to help pass the 2002-2003-tax levy. He was in charge of getting the word out about the need for the levy, as well as encouraging people to go to the polls and vote. After the levy passed, Eugene took a more permanent position as a member of the board and eventually served as secretary, vice president, and then president for nine years.
“We became a unified voice for those that had no voice,” he says about his time on the board. “It changed my life.”
In 2009, Aaron, passed away just shy of his 24th birthday. While devastating, his son’s death emboldened Eugene to carry on the fight and be an advocate for others. “I felt like since I’d learned so much and I wasn’t afraid of advocating that I should carry that gift forward,” he says.
Eugene is proud of the work the Warren County Board has accomplished, most notably helping people with developmental disabilities obtain rewarding employment and thrive in the workplace.
“They want to be given the same opportunities as everyone else, not special opportunities,” he says.
Even though Eugene’s time as a board member is over, he still does all he can to advocate for those with developmental disabilities in his close-knit community and looks forward to seeing what progress the county continues to make on behalf of the people and families it serves.